DeMint Applauds Senate Passage of the Military Commissions Act
Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) made the following statement after voting in favor of S. 3930, the Military Commissions Act, which was approved by the Senate on a 65-34 vote:
"We must use every reasonable tool available to us to stop terrorist plots and protect the American people. This legislation will help us stop terrorist attacks before they happen, aggressively question high-value detainees, and bring terrorists to justice.
"This bill allows our detainee interrogation program to continue, which the President has called the most potent tool we have in protecting America and foiling terrorist attacks'. This legislation also protects sensitive information while giving detainees a fair trial."
· In response to the Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, this legislation creates military commissions for the prosecution of war criminals and preserves the terrorist interrogation program.
· The Hamdan decision invalidated the military commissions that were being used to prosecute war criminals at Guantanamo Bay until they were authorized by Congress. S. 3930 authorizes the creation of military commissions to try alien unlawful enemy combatants for violations of the laws of war under a new chapter of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
· Hamdan put the CIA's terrorist interrogation program in jeopardy by holding that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions applies to treatment of unlawful enemy combatants. S. 3930 clarifies the standards for U.S. personnel who detain and question unlawful enemy combatants, and ensures the program continues.